Yesterday I went to the gym and I did laundry and I packed a bag and I drove to the beach. I turned the AC off, opened the sunroof, and cranked the music up. I felt my heart beat with the rhythm, and the sunshine from above warmed my soul. I forgot how therapeutic that drive can be. I forgot what it’s like to be alone in the car with myself, my thoughts and not be consumed by a grief that was waiting to sneak up on me. The Avett Brothers sing, “I’ve got worries to give to the sea,” and I was thinking that I might. But then I got here and I realized that I left all my worries behind. Life is too short to be caught up in the drama. Say what you feel and be done with it. Treat everyone around you well. Keep your heart open. I had a good long talk with a new friend a few weekends ago, and it only reminded me how important it is to live in the moment. We don’t know what’s ahead, and there’s a reason that the past is behind us. So, I won’t let my mind go to a twisty place of confusion or nostalgia when I realize that the first person I had a gigantic, heart-wrenching crush on in college when I was just 18 and impressionable and wide-eyed about everything ahead of me in those years, just got married. Closing some weird sort of chapter of the majority of people I spent years in life pining over, married off. And I hope they have happily ever afters. I thought I’d feel old, or weird, or unsettled but I still feel like a bird. I feel light and content and I know myself. I know my heart and I’m okay with where I am. I feel like I’m finally really growing up, and growing up doesn’t have to mean settling down because I’m still not quite sure how to do that and I still don’t know when I’ll want to. But I can communicate my emotions without raised voices, and I can listen – truly listen. And I can have a moment of frustration but not let it consume me. I can wake up and be in a totally different place with my feelings and it’s good. Basically I feel healthy. Really healthy. I’m not running like a maniac because I’m not trying to escape anything right now. And I was thinking about times when I wasn’t in such a healthy place, when my mind wasn’t full of sunshine and things were a little (or a lot) dark and twisty – and I’m grateful to not be there, right now. I’m grateful for the distance I have from feeling like that. Incredible that it’s a Monday, isn’t it?
Last weekend Kaylynn came to visit me in Tallahassee. It was her first trip back since graduation! (Far too long if you ask me.) It was basically as epic as we could’ve imagined. Full of showing her what’s new, visits to some old haunts, good people, good food, and lots of laughs and love.
One of my bucket list items for the weekend was to check out the photo booth in the new Urban Outfitters, (which oddly enough is in the exact spot I used to work in.) Of course she was down. I have a mild obsession with photo booths. (Who am I kidding? None of my obsessions are mild. But I digress…) So, after showing her the fabulous hidden gem that’s Woodchuck’s breakfast, and a mini family photo shoot at the sorority house we ventured over to UO at College Town. Because technology is awesome they had this nifty little video from the whole shenanigans I thought I’d share with y’all:
(Sunset over Doak Campbell taken Monday night – too beautiful to capture correctly.)
I stumbled across this quote on Tumblr this morning, and it so eloquently words thoughts I’ve tried to express for years. Word to the wise: don’t allow toxic people to consume you and the happiness in your life. It’s ok to let go.
“Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful — you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself.”
– Daniell Koepke
I saw this quiz from BuzzFeed floating around on Facebook the other day, and figured I’d try it out to see what I got. Funny – I got Portland. In the past few years several people had suggested Portland would be a good city for me, (but then discovering that I probably couldn’t handle the cold – Austin has been the other most frequent suggestion!) Anyway, it’s a fun silly little quiz – you should try it! Also, this only reinforces Portland’s spot on my bucket list.
You got: Portland
You are a free spirit, but not in the LA way, in the “you’re probably more cultured than most of your friends” way. You’re up-to-date on all the latest coffee brewing techniques, have a long list of local blogs you love to read, and can taste the organic goodness in every bite you eat. Move to Portland already, you sexy smarty pants.
I’ve been slacking on the updates, I know so I thought I’d do a little throwback to my birthday weekend. For the first time in a long, long time my birthday didn’t fall on the same weekend as Thanksgiving so I decided to make the most of it and roadtrip to Athens! The Cherry Blow Dry bar in Tallahassee was having a grand opening special, so that Friday I decided to get my first blow out. OhMyGoodness all the people who rave about them on Twitter aren’t lying. It’s fabulous to feel like…put together for a snippet of time.
The drive to Georgia that afternoon was just what I needed. There’s something healing about those country roads, even if you’re not broken.
When I arrived, Kaylynn and went to get dinner at Taco Stand. It’s this little mexican restaurant that’s super random, but really delicious. And it worked well for our pre-going out meal the last time I’d been in town. (Under much better circumstances this time, not in a state of turmoil over pending transitions in my life – though there were still plenty of transitions to come.) Afterwards we went next door and hung out with her neighbor Brady and his younger brother Drew. We jammed out to some Billy Joel (I’m not even kidding – how reminiscent of sophomore year of college is that?!) and some country music while we played Cards Against Humanity (my first time!) Later on we went downtown, which just turned into an epic evening, even if it started raining on us. We bar hopped, we celebrated one of their friends finding out he was having a baby, and of course birthday celebrating ensued. We rode UGA’s version of Night Nole, and there was a group celebrating a guy’s birthday and the bus broke out in song and also football chants. I love spirit like that. We laughed, and drank, and ran around town talking and dancing. It was one of those nights where we stayed up til 5am. When we got home there was a random kid’s debit card with us? Who the heck knows. The next morning started off kind of rough when I poured Kaylynn’s chemical solution in my eye and freaked out I might go blind. But it’s nothing a little Bojangle’s breakfast couldn’t remedy. We took the dogs out to play in the parking lot, and the poor neighbor’s dog accidentally knocked it’s tooth out on the curb! See what I mean about the types of ridiculousness that automatically ensue? Later on we tailgated, and made delicious mixed coffee drinks and mingled and played corn hole. Then we borrowed the neighbor’s student ID, and I went to my first UGA football game. That was a totally fun experience. Then we went downtown and stayed up late into the night again.
It was a weekend that was full of my favorite things. I love meeting new people, but feeling instantly connected – like you’ve known each other forever. I love walking in groups on city sidewalks, and I love laughing til my stomach hurts. I love great conversation, the kind where you can say “oh my gosh! You too?!” rambling on about vinyl, film, running, and all aspects of life. These are the kind of times that make me feel totally alive. It’s the most simple, purest way to inject love into life. It was one of the most fun birthdays I’ve ever had.
This was my hair post blow-out. Thanks, Cherry Dry Bar!
Love those Georgia roads.
Classic: The Taco Stand.
The Blue Moon sampler pack my dad gave me!
Story of our lives. (Big/Little pic.)
This is Drew! Pretty sure I took this when we went back to Sand Bar after we temporarily lost the group. (Brady went to get pizza by himself!)
It was a Snapchat filled weekend.
Beautiful fall foilage.
Perfection: getting to hangout with my little AND my grandlittle in the same day. Happy heart.
Family line photo.
Bob – love this kid!
Kay got me a cookie cake!
Tailgate randomness with the dogs.
Brady and I at the game.
Me, Kay, and Drew at the game.
Snapchat snapchat snapchat.
Kaylynn showed me the magic of a curling wand.
And to close it out, the gorgeous sunset on my drive back to Florida.
It turns out, this year my birthday happens to be the week before Thanksgiving once again! We’ll just have to wait and see what kind of shenanigans we can get into then, but this was a fabulous start to kick off 26!
Like I said: it all works out. It’s mid-January, and here I sit on the other side of town from where I typed out that last entry. There was a very tear-filled goodbye, a few roadtrips, and lots of boxes in-between and now for the first time in my life I’m living in my very own little apartment. All by my self. It’s kind of strange, after all these years, but it’s also completely liberating. And right now I’m using it to my advantage. I’m delving into the little niches of my brain where my writing thoughts wait, and I’m digging into the little pockets with brainstorming ideas and I’m trying not to let the flame of current creativity blow out. My friend Kylan was right when he told me you truly get to know yourself when you live alone. I thought I knew myself pretty well, but apparently there’s more to know. That’s exciting, in a way – at least I’m not bored yet. The past year is going to be hard to top, but I’m looking forward to what 2014 has in store. There are adventures to be had, friends to be made, curiosity to be followed, spectacular memories to create.
Well, look at that? How many times have I sat in a room, somewhere in this state thinking about the future? I mean, there’s only so much thinking you can do. Only so much preparation. At some point, it just comes. The future arrives and you’re in it. Right in the middle of it, whether you’re ready for it or not. So, I’m just going to remember how all those other times I didn’t really have much of an idea what was ahead of me then either. The summer when I got that envelope in the mail in Inverness, telling me about who my roommate would be in the all girls dorm at FSU. Freshman year trying to figure out housing for the next year, thinking maybe I’d live in New Hall with my big sister? And then getting a spot in the sorority house and matched with a girl who I wasn’t very close with at the time. Look where that brought me? Two years of an awesome roommate, a lifelong sister and friend. Summer after sophomore year having one of the most amazing experiences of my life studying abroad in London. Living in a “flat” with one of the most amazing girls I know, who would have known then that little lady would be the one to inspire me to run years later? Junior year, after a trying time, and trying to figure out an internship for summer and all kinds of other weird stuff you try to pretend you’re planning going into senior year of college – and then look! I wound up in the senior annex living with another sister would become one of my greatest friends. That whole house brought me all these friendships I might not have stumbled upon otherwise. Friendships that would last years later. A lifetime later. And then when I left Tallahassee and came back, there Camille was again to offer me a place to stay. Then I found Alex and who’d have thought answering a random Craigslist ad would bring me to the position that it did? Another “lifer” friend, an amazing housemate, and it’s been a good run. I don’t know what’s next. I have no idea. But one way or another it’ll work out, and probably, most likely, I think I’d even bet on it that whatever’s next…it’ll be more amazing than the slightly in the back of my head kind of panicky me could imagine. I just have to get there. And I will. Because pretty soon there won’t be a choice, it’ll just…be. But until then! Onwards and upwards right?